Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Hermits Cave at Cratcliffe Tor

After some crisp clear evenings and excellent star gazing we've had an excellent frost a wonderful opportunity to get out. Keisha asked if we could visit a cave today we decided on either the cave at Rowtor rocks or the hermits cave at Cratcilffe tor, both of these are near the village of Birchover (Grid Reference SK228620).

We parked up at Birchover and passing by the Druid Inn we continued along the track in the general direction of Cratcliffe tor and mockbeggar hall. Mockbeggar hall is the local name for the impressive rocks known as Robin Hoods stride it is said that Robin hood strode between the two impressive towers of rock (which make up the chimneys of mock beggar hall). A track leads up from the Ashbourne road (B5056 ) to the Robin Hoods Stride.

We followed this to a bench name "Hilarys Bench". On our way we enjoyed a game of musical mole hills a game invented by Keisha and involving us prancing between frozen mole hills. We followed a path (labelled occupation path) to Cratcliffe tor. There was a large gathering of people bouldering with some taking photographs, it was nice bright and crisp and the rocks are excellent for striking daring poses! We wandered around the boulders and found the hermits cave. The cave contains a crucifix carved into the wall believed to date back as far back as the 13th Century. The cave is sheltered by two yew trees.

After eating lunch Keisha and Louis developed a fascination with a rather large piece of timber which they insisted on dragging back with them. It created a lot of excitement. Louis managed most of the walk it was only on the final walk back upto Birchover that I carried him.

Cratcliffe Tor
Robin Hoods Stride (Climbers in the background, Keisha dragging her stick)

The hermits Cave at Cratcliffe Tor

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